Forums - Gaming Discussion - Are the poor performances of the Vita and Wii U a sign of things to come?

Does anyone find it a bit troubling that the two most recent consoles, the PS Vita and Wii U, are puting up terrible numbers, and even at times performing worse or close to their predecessors? Even the 3DS, the successor to the most successful video game phenomenon of all time, is only performing "decently," and it took a pretty drastic price cut and a 2D Mario game to even bring it to that level.

This is all no coincidence.. I really feel that all signs are pointing to a major decline in the industry, possibly even an industry crash the likes of which has not been seen since Atari in 83 if the industry does not change its course. While many are certain that the new Sony and MS consoles will put up monster numbers, can we be so sure of this?

Here is my reasoning behind my doom and gloom:

- The faltering economy: This is the biggest reason the industry will suffer. With more and more people struggling to simply get by, you're going to have a harder time convincing people to invest in a brand new $300-$500 console, $50 for just one extra controller, and a starting price of $60 for most games.

- Oversaturation of the market: With the amount of consoles out now, plus PC gaming, which seems to be undergoing a bit of a renaissance, and tablets. How many consoles do people really need?

- Increasing development costs: Because of this, you are probably going to be seeing fewer and fewer major games released, as well as consolidation of larger companies absorbing the smaller ones. you also have several companies going bankrupt. We are already seeing this to an extent. Less games = less sales.

- Higher prices across the board scaring people away: Aside from Nintendo raising the price of their games from $50 to $60, joining their HD bretheren, we also have the next consoles from MS and Sony, which will probably START at $400, and may even reach dangerous territory of $599USD again. These prices will simply not be acceptable with the current state of the economy. They will scare people away. "How do you know they will cost that much??" Please.. If Nintendo's "underpowered" console needs to cost $350, and STILL doesn't land Nintendo a profit, how much do you think the competitors with their powerhouse consoles will cost? If people think Wii U sales are bad, I have a feeling they will be in for a big surprise when the others come out.

- Increasing competition from Steam and micro/indie games: We're seeing a massive increase and relevence of games in the $1-$10, thanks to deals on steam and indie games on cell phones, Ipads, and tablets. Even many free ones, if you don't mind puting up with ads. Again going back to the context of the poor economy, would you rather spend $1 or $60 on a game?

- Fewer and fewer "hit" games: Much like the consolidation of game companies, we are seeing a consolidation of sales in games. We use to have several games with healthy sales of 1 to 10 million. Just look at the sales of PS2 and Wii's libraries for instance. Or NES, SNES, and Playstation if you want to go even farther back. Now, we seem to have a small handful of games that achieve massive success (Call of Duty, Mario Kart, Wii Fit, NSMB, GTA, Halo), and not much else. Now it seems, even most supposed blockbusters stay on the top of the charts for a week or two then drop like a rock. Going back to MS and Sony's next consoles, what are all these major franchises that will sell these consoles? Gears, Halo, COD, God of War, GT, GTA, and what else? The number of major franchises on these consoles is seemingly dwindling. As for Nintendo, they seem to be trying to ride the success of their Wii titles, but this can only work for so long as people lose interest.

- Graphics reaching their peak: With the PS3 and Xbox 360, graphics are getting quite close to being "good enough," at least for the average consumer. This is why these consoles are still puting up decent numbers even now. Is there room for improvement in graphics? Certainly, but enough that is easily noticable to the human eye, and noticable enough for most to fork out another $400-$600 on a new console? Doubtful. With graphics getting closer to photorealism, there becomes less reason to crank out a new console every 5 or even 6 years, and likewise less reason for a consumer to upgrade.

This is why I believe the industry at large, is in for a major decline in the near future. The Wii U and Vita performances I feel are just the tip of the iceberg, the iceberg that the Titanic is getting ever closer to if the industry choses not to change their course. I see a major shift to the budget priced games on cell phones and tablets, and a bit of a transition back towards PC gaming. I'm not saying they're going to completely crash and burn, just that we're not going to see anywhere near the sales we've seen this generation.

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No, WiiU is performin badly cause Nintendo screwed the marketing part

I on the other hand disagree (with the above poster).

I think 3DS/Vita/ Wii U are all proving that the consumer is not willing to pay as much as they used to for gaming systems. Mostly because the technological leap is now harder to see than ever before.
I think extensive libraries of games and acessable prices are the only way to make consoles explode on the market now.

The economy issues are also in the root of these problems.

The tablets/Ipads can be behind this aswell.

Yep agreed. Is not only a nintendo thing. When the 720 and the ps4 are released, expect worst sale numbers than the Wii U. The economy is the main reason, people have less money to spend or very cautious.

Bet with ninjablade:

Ninjablade wins if the next 5 multiplat on the wii u are inferior to the 360 version.

I win if one of the 5 mulitplats are on par or superior on the Wii U.

This thread is sensless.

AstroMaSSi rules

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I think one of the problems is technology no longer surprises us, we expect it. We're no longer wowed, while I love my Wii U. I'll admit I was not wowed and for those casuals or people somewhat interested in buying a new console. There needs to be a wow. As I've said, the Wii U will pick up steam once their bigger franchises are on it. The Sony franchises don't have the huge fanbases that Nintendo's do so it kinda makes sense why the Vita is doing so poorly.

I think everyone is satisfied with current gen consoles for now. Give it another year or two and the Vita and Wii U will probably pick up in sales. The next PS and Xbox should do fairly well at launch too.


I would like to congratulate you on a fairly articulate well thought out post. That said I disagree with your argument. The reason being that your examples both have platform specific issues that could be driving down adoption. There isn't a justification for extrapolating out a trend based upon their performance. When more mundane answers are by far much more likely and much simpler. The answer that requires the fewest assumptions, and requires fewer leaps is usually the right answer.

Which means that the problem is probably to do with the platforms themselves, and not the entirety of the market. In the case of the Vita the most common belief is that the products price point is perceived to be in severe excess of the value in the eyes of consumers. Even if people had more disposable cash. That wouldn't lead them to abandon their own notions of fair value. That isn't to say that there isn't a market, but that the product is priced outside of the normal range of prices in that market.

The Wii U might suffer in the sales department, because it has to win back a audience that was soured on the brand by its immediate predecessor. Nintendo neglected one audience in favor of a new audience. The new audience in turn actually abandoned the platform. Meaning that Nintendo has to court a old audience that they actually treated poorly. Meaning it is probably going to be a harder sell at least for awhile. The original core audience may have left for good, may actually hold a grudge, or may be overly cautious having just been burned.

The market is actually quite healthy, and is behaving in the way that a healthy market behaves. Crashes are the result of terrible excesses. This market is dynamic enough that it can whether down turns in one segment or another. For instance even if block buster games suddenly tanked. The market would just shrug that off, because all of the eggs weren't just in that basket. We aren't anywhere close to a scenario where everybody is just going to go bust. That isn't to say that there isn't a correction taking place, but a lot of markets are in the midst of a correction.

Wii u is doing well. it has 2 and a half million sales and its only been out for 2 months. the wii u has more than half as much sales as the vita and it just came out. It took the 360 2 years to start selling more than the ps2.

All right folks, nothing to see here. Wii U will be big, move along.

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